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Elumelu, other Global Leaders Convene at UBA Africa Day Conversations 2020

UBA House

The President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, President of Liberia, H.E George Weah and  United States Senator Chris Coons will form part of a high-level leadership panel to be moderated by the Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, to discuss Africa’s economic recovery in the 2020 edition of UBA’s Africa Conversations.

The African Presidents and global leaders will be joined on the panel by other global leaders including the President & Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export–Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK), Professor Benedict Okey Oramah; President, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer and President and Founder, Africa CEO Forum, Amir Ben Yahmed.


With over 60% of Africans living below the poverty line, the pandemic poses an existential threat to Africa’s economic growth and this session will define the lessons learned and the roadmap to economic growth and sustainability.

Together, the leading voices will speak on Monday, May 25th, 2020, on the theme ‘UBA Africa Day Conversations 2020: Growth, Jobs, and Sustainable Development Amidst a Global Pandemic,’ This will be the second edition of the symposium organised annually by UBA, in celebration of Africa Day. 

The open event will be held virtually starting at 3pm WAT and interested participants can register on the UBA website here.

Africa Day is celebrated worldwide on May 25th, to showcase the diversity and beauty of Africa and its people.  The United Bank for Africa, with its pan-African footprint spanning 20 African countries, New York, Paris, and London, continues to lead the conversation and focus on the the development, growth, and unity of the continent.

Corruption at AfDB: U.S. rejects Adesina’s exoneration, wants fresh probe

The United States has rejected the clean bill given Dr. Akinwumi Adesina by the African Development Bank ethics committee, over corruption allegations.

Instead, the U.S. has called for an independent probe, thus upending AfDB’s board decision to end an investigation against Adesina.

In a letter dated May 22 and addressed to Niale Kaba, chairwoman of the bank’s board of governors, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Treasury disagreed with findings by the bank’s ethics committee that “totally exonerated” Adesina.

Kaba confirmed receipt of the document and declined further comment, according to Bloomberg.

The intervention by the Treasury, the AfDB’s biggest non-African shareholder, comes two weeks after the ethics committee found no evidence to support allegations of favouritism by Adesina.

The 60-year-old bank chief, who has repeatedly refuted the allegations, is the only candidate up for election as president at an annual general meeting scheduled for August.

“We have deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process,” Mnuchin said.

“Instead, we urge you to initiate an in-depth investigation of the allegations using the services of an independent outside investigator of high professional standing.”

The U.S. Treasury didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Clear Mandate

Adesina was accused by a group of unidentified whistleblowers of handing contracts to acquaintances and appointing relatives to strategic positions at the Abidjan-based lender.

“Considering the scope, seriousness, and detail of these allegations against the sole candidate for bank leadership over the next five years, we believe that further inquiry is necessary to ensure that the AfDB’s president has broad support, confidence, and a clear mandate from shareholders,” Mnuchin said.

U.S. criticism of the bank’s internal processes follows comments by World Bank President David Malpass in February that multilateral lenders including the AfDB tend to provide loans too quickly and, in the process, add to African nations’ debt problems.

The bank rebutted the statements as “inaccurate and not fact-based.”

The AfDB is Africa’s biggest multilateral lender and has an AAA rating from Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings.

Its shareholders are Africa’s 54 nations and 27 countries in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

In March, the lender issued a $3 billion social bond to help African countries deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Bids for the securities on the London money market exceeded $4.6 billion.

Source: PM News

Russian drug Favipiravir that kills coronavirus in 4 days almost ready

A Russian-made drug Favipiravir that can eliminate coronavirus infections within four days, is now in the final stages of clinical trials.

The drug known as Favipiravir is being tested by Russian pharmaceutical investment firm ChemRar with the support of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

On Thursday, clinical trials moved to the final stage in which it is tested on a randomised sample of COVID-19 patients.

The drug has several advantages. One of them is that it significantly reduces patient recovery time.

Another advantage is its availability in tablet form.

This makes its use easier, according to a statement from the RDIF.

“We noticed a faster improvement in the general health and clinical condition of the patients taking Favipiravir”, said said Elena Yakubova, CEO of ChemRar Pharma in a statement.

“This may lead to earlier discharge from hospital and reduce the burden on medical facilities by 30-40 percent in the near future,” she added.

The final stage of trials were approved to begin on May 21, involving 330 patients, the statement said.

Earlier results had suggested that the drug has no new or previously unreported side effects and brought down the body temperature of a majority, 68 percent, of patients twice as fast as patients not taking favipiravir.

Complete elimination of the coronavirus took on average around four days with the drug, compared to around nine days with standard treatment.

“Thanks to the administration of Favipiravir, most patients are not infectious as early as the fifth day of treatment, which is critical to stop the epidemic and ensure a swift return to normal life,” Yakubova added.

After four days of treatment with the drug, 65 percent of a test group of 40 patients were found to test negative for the virus. By day 10, the number of patients testing negative had reached 35.

“We continue to receive promising data during the clinical trials of Favipiravir.

“At least 85 percent of patients in the control groups completely recovered from coronavirus within 10 days after the start of the treatment with the drug.

“We expect a positive final result of the trial, which will enable us to complete the registration procedure for the drug in Russia,” RDIF’S CEO Kirill Dmitriev said in the statement.

Various drugs across the globe are currently undergoing rapid testing to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which as claimed over 300,000 lives worldwide.

In the US, drugs including remdesivir and famotidine have shown positive results.

A combination of triple antiviral medicine was recently shown to help relieve symptoms of patients in a small clinical trial in Hong Kong.

Source: PM News

Nigeria rakes in 313 new cases of Coronavirus

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

Nigeria has recorded a daily rise in Coronavirus infections, ramping up 313 new cases on Sunday.

This took the nation’s total coronavirus caseload to 7,839.

In the figures released by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Lagos recorded 148 new infections, while FCT recorded 36 new cases and Rivers 27.

Edo registered 19 new cases, Kano 13, Ogun 12 and Ebonyi 11 cases.

Nasarawa and Delta got eight cases each, Oyo seven cases, Plateau six cases; Kaduna five cases.

Kwara recorded four cases, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa, three cases each; Niger two cases and Anambra one case.

Five new deaths were recorded on Sunday in Nigeria, while the nation has been able to discharge 2,263 survivors of the virus.

How States Stand

Source: PM News

JUST IN: 31 more Coronavirus patients recover, discharged in Lagos

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday announced the discharge of 31 more Coronavirus patients who recovered from the virus.

Those discharged include 12 female and 19 male, all Nigerians.

Sanwo-Olu said they were discharged from various isolation centres across the State.

He added that with the 31 discharged patients, the state had so far discharged 738 survivors of the virus.

In his words: “Good people of Lagos, I have more great news from our isolation facilities. Today, 31 fully recovered COVID-19 Lagos patients; 12 female and 19 male, all Nigerians were discharged to join the society.

“The patients; 1 from the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba; 13 from Onikan, 11 from Gbagada, 5 from Agidingbi and 1 from Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Isolation Centres were discharged having fully recovered and tested negative to COVID-19.

“With this, the number of patients successfully managed and discharged from our Isolation facilities has risen to 738.”

According to Sanwo-Olu, the discharge of COVID-19 patients was encouraging, while thanking the front line health workers for the remarkable progress made so far.

“I urge us all not to relent in the battle against the this global pandemic, we must continue to practice hand hygiene, wear a mask and observe physically distance when outdoor.

“If we continue to do the right things and obey the stipulated public health safety guidelines, the chain of #COVID19 transmission can be broken in our State,” he said.

Source: PM News

Abia Commissioner For Environment, Solomon Ogunji Is Dead

Abia State Government on Sunday announced the demise of its Commissioner for Environment, Solomon Ogunji.

The State Commissioner for Information, John Kalu in a statement said Ogunji died on Saturday after a brief illness related to high blood pressure.

“It is with great sadness and a deep sense of loss that we announce the demise of a member of Abia State Executive Council and the Honorable Commissioner for Environment, Dr Solomon Ogunji, who passed away on Saturday, 23rd May, 2020, at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, after a brief illness related to high blood pressure.

READ ALSO: FMC Abeokuta Records Three Fresh Cases Of COVID-19 And One Death

“Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who received the sad news with shock yesterday has personally communicated and condoled with the family of the bereaved and is currently in mourning,” the statement read in part.

Kalu therefore prayed that God will give the family of Ogunji the fortitude to bear the loss and rest his soul in the bosom of the Lord.